Call failed: IRS supports repeal of un-enforced cell phone law

On Monday, I went on the Doug Stephan Show to express my outrage over a new plan by the IRS to start taxing employer-provided cell phones as a fringe benefit. Doug and I enjoyed a fun session of venting about greedy bureaucrats, and I explained why the idea made no sense in a post on WalletPOP.

Now the IRS and the Treasury Department have reversed course a week after the initial announcement, and are instead asking to repeal the widely-ignored law that requires employer-provided cell phone minutes used for personal calls to be taxed.

"The current law, which has been on the books for many years, is burdensome, poorly understood by taxpayers, and difficult for the IRS to administer consistently," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a statement. "The passage of time, advances in technology, and the nature of communication in the modern workplace have rendered this law obsolete."

Actually what made it obsolete was the fact that it was widely ignored -- which was the whole reason your plan to start enforcing it made headlines, Mr. Shulman.

To recap: The IRS spent countless hours -- and in all probability, millions of taxpayer dollars -- discussing ways to enforce this law that is ignored. Now the IRS has decided that it's right that the law is ignored, but apparently that isn't good enough: Now it wants the Congress to spend hours to repeal a law that is already ignored.

Couldn't a lot of time have been saved by just continuing to ignore the law? What exactly was the problem? Why did this need to become an issue?

5 Facts About the Earned Income Tax Credit

Many qualified taxpayers overlook the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), potentially missing out on thousands of dollars at tax time. Here are 5 facts every taxpayer should know about the EITC.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

What to Do After You've Filed an Income Tax Extension

You're just not ready to file that tax return, and April is creeping closer. No worries. Getting an extension is easy. No matter how you file, here is a guide to next steps.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

What Is the Minimum Monthly Payment for an IRS Installment Plan?

Can't afford to pay your income taxes? You may be able to qualify for an installment plan with the Internal Revenue Service. The minimum monthly payment for your plan depends on how much you owe.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Tips for Paying Estimated Taxes

Get guidance on federal income tax requirements for estimated taxes to accurately pay what you owe.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story
Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.